Malta Football Association
Gżira's Euro journey comes to an end against Radnicki
Jul 19, 2018
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Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

UEFA Europa League

First Qualifying Round – Second Leg (Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali)

(HT 0-1)

0-1 Pankov 8.

Gżira United's participation in this season's Europa League came to an end against the strong team of Radnicki Nis who won the second leg 1-0 thanks to an early goal by defender Radovan Pankov. The Serbs had won the home match 4-0 for a 5-0 aggregate win.

Gżira United coach Darren Abdilla opted to start with Tony Curmi in goal who made his debut in Europe aged 35.


Andrew Cohen returned to the team after missing the first leg in Serbia due to illness while Sacha Borg was preferred to Prince Mambouana. Strikers Amadou Samb and Emmanuel Okoye also started on the subs' bench with Jorginho being installed as lone striker.


Before the game, veteran Roderick Briffa, captain for the occasion, was honoured for his 41st UEFA club competition match, surpassing Valletta’s Gilbert Agius in the ranking who held the Maltese record for a number of years with 40 European appearances.  

Radnicki started strongly, scoring an early opening goal.
Pankov, left unmarked near the second post, beat Curmi with a fine header after a free-kick by Aleksandar Stanisavljevic.
Five minutes later Stanisavljev could have made it 0-2 but his effort was blocked inside the box.
Gżira’s first real opportunity arrived in the 23rd minute. Jorginho was sent through by Briffa but the Brazilian striker shot straight at goalkeeper Mladen Zivkovic.
A Rodolfo Soares header sailed over the bar after a Cohen free-kick from the right in the 31st minute. A minute later, Petar Grbic could have done better after a corner from the left but missed target with only goalkeeper Curmi to beat. 
In the second half, the rhythm of the match dropped but Radnicki continued to show the better ideas with some excellent combination football.
Striker Dusan Mrkic and captain Ryota Noma kept the Gżira rearguard busy with some forging runs. In the 66th minute Jorginho had a great chance to equalise but his low shot was off target.
Late in the match Abdilla introduced two youngsters, Luca Brincat and Christian Sammut, to gain some international experience.
Brincat had a great opportunity to level the scores in added time but his well-timed header sailed inches over the bar.
A positive journey came to an end for Gżira who essentially reached their objective with passing one round of the Europa League.
T. Curmi, T. Veronese, C. Gatt Baldacchino, R. Soares, S. Borg, J. Corbalan, (C. Sammut 82), Z. Scerri, R. Briffa, E. Bilbao, A. Cohen, (E. Okoye 65), Jorginho (L. Brincat 75).
M. Zivkovic, D. Crnomarkovic, (T. Bondarenko 34), R. Pankov, M. Stankovic, A. Todorovski, D. Micic, A. Stanisavljevic, R. Norma, M. Mrkic, N. Haskic, (S. Nikodijevic 62), P. Grbic, (A. Jovanovic 46).
Referee: Suren Baluyan (Armenia)
Yellow cards: Okoye (G), Stankovic (R)
 Attendance: 509
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